More than seven in 10 black and Asian workers have been overlooked for employment opportunities because of their identity, according to a study by the Chartered Management Institute.
The CMI’s report found that some workers were being treated differently due to factors such as their hairstyles or the fact they did not drink alcohol. Two-thirds of workers from Asian backgrounds felt they had been overlooked for promotions or similar opportunities due to their identity, and 71% of black employees.
Employees who identify as LGBTQ+ are also subject to unfair treatment, according to the CBI. Sixty-five percent of LGBTQ+ workers who responded to the report felt they had been overlooked, with this group experiencing greater levels of harassment and bullying than any other.
The survey, of more than 2,000 workers, showed that 52% of all workers felt they had missed out on workplace opportunities because of their identity. Forty-one percent said they had witnessed colleagues being negatively impacted due to unfair treatment.
Almost a quarter (23%) of typical UK employees had experienced hostile, derogatory or negative attitudes at work, rising to 29% of people from Asian backgrounds, 34% from black backgrounds and 36% of LGBTQ+ staff.
Over a third (34%) of disabled employees said they had experienced such attitudes, with a similar proportion experiencing harassment and bullying, compared with 22% of employees as a whole.
CMI chief executive Ann Francke said progress with diversity and inclusion was “evident but painfully slow”.
“We can’t afford to wait two generations to harness all of our available talent given the economic, societal and environmental challenges we face.
“Employers and managers must strive to go much further than paying lip service to equality, diversity and inclusion, and commit to addressing the inequalities that exist.”
The CMI has also compiled data on the under-representation of certain groups in the workplace. It estimates that to achieve balance in the UK working population, it needs:
- 560,000 additional women;
- 290,000 additional managers with registered disabilities;
- 100,000 additional individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds; and
- 460,000 additional individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds.